News/ Motorsport/ 2024 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo | 5 Things You Need To Know

2024 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo | 5 Things You Need To Know

The 2024 WRC Championship is just about to come alive and there are a plethora of changes that took place over the winter break. Starting from the winner of the previous season doing a part-time role, to the overhauling of the points system that governs this beautiful sport. However, despite all these changes, one thing seemed to stay intact; the number of rounds in the season. Thirteen spread across 4 continents! With all that said and all cars running fully sustainable fuel, here are the 5 things you need to know ahead of the opening round of the 2024 WRC Championship - Rallye Monte Carlo!

 

 

1. Basics of Rallye Monte Carlo 

Rallye Monte Carlo happens to be the oldest host in the WRC calendar and arguably one of the most beautiful fixtures! The start of the round moves away from the Principality of Monaco to the French alpine town of Gap. The track consists of tarmac, ice, and snow with the harsh winter weather will test the mettel of the teams. This will lead to interesting tyre choices across the board. 17 Special Stages (SS) will determine the true winner of this starting round. And be ready for the two-night stages on Thursday that are special to this stage. 

 

 

2. Driver lineup 

Toyota Gazoo Racing opens with three cars this season led by Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta. They are followed by two world champions Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera; both running part-time roles for Toyota. 

Hyundai Motorsports re-signs Ott Tanak and with Thierry Neuville by his side, they are spearheads of the Korean manufacturer. Reigning WRC2 champion Andreas Mikkelsen steps back into premiere class WRC and will be alternating drives with Dani Sordo and Esapekka Lappi throughout the season. 

M-Sport Ford took a different approach with a youthful lineup. Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster will undertake the full 2024 campaign. A lot of positive results dominate the history of the two drivers in the support category with 2024 marking Munster's first full season in the big leagues. 

 

3. Ogier looking for 10th win

It is spectacular to see Sebastian Ogier just dominate the first round of the WRC calendar year after year. One can say that it has almost become a ritual for the fans and the drivers alike to see him at the top of the podium in this round. With that, he is eyeing his 10th win in Monte Carlo but is not taking it easy. 

He told WRC “For me this is a must-do event and there’s a lot of hopes for this first rally." “I think it’s the rally that you need to respect more than any other as the conditions can be so challenging, which means that nothing is guaranteed. Numbers are never my main motivation, but if I could get a 10th win on this event it would be something very special.”

 

 

4. Kalle Rovanpera is part-time in this WRC season 

Boy Wonder and 2023 WRC Champion Kalle Rovanpera announced that he will be participating only in the select round for the 2024 WRC season. Many have chosen sides of support and criticism over his decision, but there might be more than meets the eye here. His decision to take a break might just be a good one as it will allow him to come fully focused for the 2025 season! But for whatever reason he has chosen to take a break, every round he participates in will be a treat to watch!

 

 

5. Points structure change 

The points structure has been revamped to bring more excitement to the entire course of the round. The points structure now emphasizes the closing stages of the rally that generally occurs on Sunday. The structure awards up to 18 points based on the general classification after Saturday and up to a further seven points on Sunday. The five bonus points for the Wolf Power Stage have been kept untouched. 

 

 

With that said, the rally starts on Thursday (25 January) at Monaco's Casino Square covering 324.44kms of special stages which will bring them back to Monaco by Sunday (28 January) afternoon. For more motorsport news from around the world, follow TopGear India!

TopGear Magazine July 2024